Fauci takes vaccination push to TikTok
Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious diseases expert and chief medical adviser to President Biden, joined several TikTok influencers in a series of conversations this week in an effort to increase youth vaccination rates across the nation.
Fauci’s appearances come as the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services push to increase youth vaccination rates.
Currently, 67 percent of people 18 and older have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 64 percent of people 12 and older have gotten at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The TikTok influencers Fauci engaged with have between 794,000 and 24.1 million followers, according to CNN. Nia Sioux, a social media figure and former “Dance Moms” star with whom Fauci spoke on Wednesday, has more than 7 million followers.
“Tell all of your TikTok buddies to get vaccinated,” Fauci told Sioux during their discussion.
“I will. I’ll tell all my besties,” Sioux replied.
What a moment Thank you Dr. Fauci for taking the time to answer my questions. #MadeToSave https://madetosave.org/learn
Fauci also chatted with Mia Finney, who has 6.4 million TikTok followers, working to dispel some myths that have circulated about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There are multiple myths going on out there, from anything from aliens taking over your body to becoming magnetic to get a chip injected in you. It’s all nonsense, so please help us debunk that stuff,” Fauci told Finney.
Finney described the conversation as a “kind of a surreal experience,” according to CNN.
During the Wednesday conversation, Fauci informed Finney and her followers about the level of protection that the vaccine can provide even if they have previously contracted the coronavirus.
this was the highlight of my week everyone do your part and stay safe! #madetosave
“If you get COVID, recover and then get vaccinated, your level of protection will be extremely high. The CDC still recommends that even though you’ve been infected that you should get vaccinated for the extra degree of protection,” Fauci said.
“I think it was important for me to give people that information,” Finney said, noting that she knows teens and youth who have expressed hesitancy about the vaccine. “At the end of the day, it’s everyone’s right to get the vaccine or not, but the fact that I was able to provide information for them I think was the greatest impact that I had.”
Last month, the White House acknowledged that the U.S. is projected to fall short of reaching Biden’s goal of vaccinating at least 70 percent of American adults with one shot of the vaccine by July 4.
At the time, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said that the effort could take “a few extra weeks” among those 18 and older but that it was a significant challenge among young adults between the ages of 18 and 26.
As of Saturday afternoon, nearly 55 percent of the total population has received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the CDC.